Understanding In A MODO Crash: The No, No…Walk With ME Song Part 3

I should have known this would happen. I can hear you all now:”Of course he wins; he opens bomb rares!” Just so you know, I don’t wait for the drafts where I open insane bombs and then start writing. Every draft (all three) I’ve set out to record has become an article, so I’m not giving you an incomplete picture. I don’t open a Pentavus every time, and sometimes I lose even when I have Pentavus. Enough about the integrity of the medium. There are still several”thinker” picks to come, some room for discussion, and some lessons to be learned. And if you’re angry that I opened Pentavus, wait ’til next pick!

Now available to own in your very home: It’s the best of the Tim Aten Show! You laughed with him as he made fun of Jeff Cunningham and random people making Ravenous Baloth jokes; you cried with him as he missed top 8 of Regionals by the narrowest of margins. With his special brand of self-deprecating humor, how can you help but fall instantly in love?

Here’s what the critics had to say about the best of the Tim Aten Show:*

“He almost had a sort of charisma.” –Russ”LilMizer” Harnew

“[He’s] an idiot.” —Mike Turian

“It sort of reminds me of stuff I wrote when I was fourteen, except much, much worse.” –Mike Aten, his brother

Tim Aten is f***ing stains.” —Kai Budde

This is a very special offer, and this priceless collection cannot be bought in stores! That’s right, you can only own this remarkable manuscript by sending $19.99 check or money order to Tim Aten and then viewing the StarCityGames archives. You idiot.

This Week’s Special Guest: Nate Hittomy

Here’s the beauty part of that lameass introduction. After that, the article couldn’t possibly get any worse. It’s only going to be uphill from here. It’s a time tested approach by a certain other author (I’m not going to name names) that helps in making him the most widely read StarCityGames writer.

I’ve had a few complaints about the gimmicks I’ve used in previous articles. Some of them were tedious, others interfered with reading, and others were just plain asinine. All in a day’s work. But now that I’ve graduated college

*waiting for applause*

*still waiting*

C’mon, humor me.

*waiting again*

Oh, why, thank you! Anyway, now that I’ve graduated college

*waiting for more applause*

and I don’t have so much on my plate any longer, I’ll be able to (hopefully) increase the overall quality of my articles. I give you my guarantee that there will be no new gimmicks this week as I walk you through a Mirrodin Magic Online draft.

Initially, the above introduction was going to be for Green. I just changed the phrase”the wonderful world of Mirrodin Green in Limited” to”a Mirrodin Magic Online draft” and kept going. I may include the Green list at the end of the next article, but I’m not going to go into detail since the information isn’t nearly as helpful this late in the game. I need to get the list out there for posterity, though.

Also, two paragraphs ago I said:

“I give you my guarantee that there will be no new gimmicks this week…”

You may or may not remember reading this. Well the cute part of the article was going to be that I was going to revisit all of my old gimmicks for a few picks each: picks 6-10 would be backwards, 13-15 would reference random Minnesota people, 21-24 would have more fun facts about (not even going to mention his name ever again for the rest of my life), and so on. You’ll have to take my word for it: It would have been great, although if you think about it, if it would have been that great, I probably would have gone ahead and actually done it. There’s a certain line even I won’t cross evidently. [I don’t buy this”line” of reasoning. I’m guessing Tim just got lazy. -Knut, cynical bastard]

A few notes about the draft. First, I need to point out that it was a 4-3-2-2. Sometimes there are some contenders in this queue, and at other times it’s the full DroolCup 500 at the Special Olympics. Unfortunately, this happened to be one of the latter. Win some, lose some.

Why, might you ask, is someone of my stature and prominence wasting his time with such trifles as the 4-3-2-2? I’ll tell you: my newest secret account is so new that it isn’t up to 1700 yet. Well, it is now, but at the time of the draft in question, it wasn’t, so I had to take what I could. I always take what I can.

For each pick, I’m going to list all of the cards in the pack, not just the”relevant” ones. Part of this is so you can see the rarities of the cards remaining in the pack, and part is because a large amount of the cards in the set become”relevant” depending on the circumstances. The packs will be 99% accurate. I managed to decipher all of my shorthand, but in two packs, I came up one card short in my notes. Also, when I wrote”Den” it could have been Ancient Den or Den-Guard,”Sphere” could have been Chromatic or of Purity, and so on. Still, I’m fairly confident with the results. Of my secretarial skills. Heh.

Yes, I still write my picks down instead of using printscreen. It’s what I’m more comfortable with. Drop dead.

And a few more notes about my secret account. Some of you may be asking, why does someone like Tim Aten, who nobody really knows or cares about, need a secret account? They’re fun, okay? I like to change up my nicks. It gets mundane otherwise. I’m the same sort of assclown who used to change his AIM profile daily.

Finally, recently on my secret account, I played an individual with the handle sparekid. After he played badly, I defeated him, albeit with Warhammer. He complained about how lucky I was, so I pointed out some of his misplays. He then looked at my rating and berated me for it, telling me to”have fun paying for my drafts” since he obviously is far too good to have to do such a thing.

Some people would take a Gandhi-like solace in the fact that they are better than such buffoons as sparekid and just smile and let it go. I am not one of those people. Actually, now that I think about it, Gandhi probably wouldn’t care whether or not he was better than anyone else at all. But I digress. For the sake of posterity, I feel the need to let people know when they’re horribly misinformed. It’s not an ego thing (in this case anyway), since I’m really not that good. Okay? I’ve said it. I realize that I am not beyond reproach at Magic: the Gathering. I’m not going to say I’m bad, because even if it’s true I don’t believe it. I’m not going to say I’m good, because that’s all relative, it would sound like bragging, and I’m not sure if that‘s true either. The only thing I’m really saying here is that I’m better than sparekid. That’s all. Don’t project any other value judgments onto that statement. I’m not arrogant, I’m just craaaaaaazy. You woke the sleeping giant, sparekid, and now you must suffer the ignominy. You suck, blah blah, joke’s on you.

Ooh, and stay tuned after for a special Feature Match report!

Pack One

Pick One: Pentavus, Chromatic Sphere, Pyrite Spellbomb, Tel-Jilad Archers, Titanium Golem, Consume Spirit, Cobalt Golem, Skyhunter Cub, Lifespark Spellbomb, Tel-Jilad Exile, Frogmite, Disarm, Serum Tank, Duskworker, Psychic Membrane

This one was pretty obvious. I should have known it would happen, too. I can hear you all now:”Of course he wins; he opens bomb rares!” Just so you know, I don’t wait for the drafts where I open insane bombs and then start writing. Every draft (all three) I’ve set out to record has become an article, so I’m not giving you an incomplete picture. I don’t open a Pentavus every time, and sometimes I lose even when I have Pentavus. Enough about the integrity of the medium. There are still several”thinker” picks to come, some room for discussion, and some lessons to be learned. And if you’re angry that I opened Pentavus, wait ’til next pick!

For those not in the know, Pentavus is the obvious pick because you win if you untap with it. You simply win the game. Figure out the combat tricks yourself; there’s no space to go into detail here. Oh, and it doesn’t commit you to a color. Couple this information with the fact that there’s nothing else insane in the pack, and the pick is easy.

Pick Two: Solar Tide, Seat of the Synod, Deconstruct, Gold Myr, Elf Replica, Razor Barrier, Leonin Elder, Tooth of Chiss-Goria, Ogre Leadfoot, Wrench Mind, Sphere of Purity, Cloudpost, Slith Strider, Scrabbling Claws

Sigh. I’m really sorry for this. In professional terms, I”mised big-time.” It doesn’t really matter what rarity is missing, as there’s no way the guy in front of me took a White card over Wrath. White is officially safe unless the guy feeding me is a big doodooheaded meany. Looking at the pack now, I think this is the uncommon run that features Grab the Reins, but I’m not sure. It could be Icy, Crystal Shard, whatever.

Pick Three: Leonin Skyhunter, Goblin War-Wagon, Terror, Copper Myr, Disciple of the Vault, Pewter Golem, Krark-Clan Shaman, Regress, Tooth of Chiss-Goria, Tanglebloom, Contaminated Bond, Clockwork Condor, Lumengrid Augur

It’s one of the best two cards in the pack if not the best, it’s in the color I wanted, and it helps send the signal to my neighbor that White is not up for grabs. If you don’t see any good White cards, you don’t go White. It’s that simple. I love the ridiculous efficiency of the Sky Kitty. This deck is looking pretty crazy.

Pick Four: Predator’s Strike, Scale of Chiss-Goria, Moriok Scavenger, Nim Shrieker, Dross Prowler, Dross Scorpion, Necrogen Spellbomb, Goblin Striker, Nim Shambler, Leonin Bladetrap, Slith Predator, Worldslayer

Lots of Black cards in this pack, but I’m really not looking forward to playing Black/White, which may be the worst color combo in the format. Green/White isn’t nearly as taboo as it was in the past, since Green has artifact removal and White can neutralize or kill creatures with cards like Arrest and Soul Nova. Predator’s Strike is arguably the best card in the pack, and Green/White loves its combat tricks, so I add it to the pile. This is by no means a commitment to Green; I’m still White/x.

Pick Five: Vulshok Gauntlets, Tree of Tales, Alpha Myr, Neurok Hoversail, Disciple of the Vault, Lumengrid Warden, Journey of Discovery, Galvanic Key, Neurok Familiar, Seething Song, Dead-Iron Sledge

This is a rather weak pack, with Vulshok Gauntlets being the most powerful card in the pack by far. I’m not about to try my luck with Blue by picking a lame card like Neurok Familiar when I already have a perfectly good Predator’s Strike. The Gauntlets are good with Fangren and Den-Guard, and moving them around from attacker to blocker can give you a use for your excess mana in the late game.

Pick Six: Auriok Transfixer, Tree of Tales, Alpha Myr, Lifespark Spellbomb, Chimney Imp, Fists of the Anvil, Necrogen Spellbomb, Consume Spirit, Psychic Membrane, Relic Bane

The Transfixer is a nice early drop with a good late-game ability, plus (and this may be quite a shocking revelation) it’s in my color. The Consume Spirit is clearly not the call. I’ve passed a lot of Black, meaning I’ll see virtually none pack 2 and I’ll have to try to mise a little bit pack 3. I don’t want to play White/Black anyway, as I’ve said, and the Consume will not go well with my double-White cards. As you’ll see, my deck ends up being rather mana-symbol-intensive anyway, but Consume Spirit is in a league of its own. The more Swamps the better, but you want to at least have three Black mana available on turn 4 most of the time. That’s tough in a deck with dubs in your other color.

Pick Seven: Blinding Beam, Great Furnace, Krark-Clan Grunt, Irradiate, Steel Wall, Seething Song, Raise the Alarm, Woebearer, Cathodion

Any questions or comments? Didn’t figure so. [Miser. -Knut, who never gets seventh pick Beams. Ever.]

Pick Eight: Elf Replica, Inertia Bubble, Slagwurm Armor, Loxodon Mender, Molten Rain, Lumengrid Sentinel, Ornithopter, Dross Harvester

There’s no sense hating a decent card when there’s a decent card for your deck. I figure that whoever gets Drossy won’t play him anyway, but that’s beside the point. Elf Replica a.k.a. Off-Color Morph Man, is a perfectly respectable 23rd-24th card. 2/2 is a solid size, and sometimes he even kills Arrest, Bubble, or Relic Bane.

Pick Nine: Titanium Golem, Chromatic Sphere, Consume Spirit, Lifespark Spellbomb, Disarm, Duskworker, Psychic Membrane

Titanium Golem is better than Duskworker in a deck like mine. If I end up going with Green, I’ll want my mana for monsters; if I end up mostly White, I’ll want to use my mana to play games with pieces of flair. There’s no reason to hate the Consume here. I might have if there were literally nothing for me. I’ll just keep shipping it along, solidifying the signal for my neighbor to go into Black. I’ll hopefully get some love pack two because of it.

Pick Ten: Elf Replica, Tooth of Chiss-Goria, Wrench Mind, Sphere of Purity, Cloudpost, Scrabbling Claws

I sure hope I don’t have to run two of these, but stranger things have happened.

Pick Eleven: Regress, Disciple of the Vault, Krark-Clan Shaman, Contaminated Bond, Tanglebloom.

There’s an off chance I could play Blue instead of Green, particularly if I open some Blue gas. I have to keep my options open. Not that I’d particularly want to play Regress anyway, but it’s just fine in a Blue/White tempo deck.

Pick Twelve: Dross Prowler, Dross Scorpion, Necrogen Spellbomb, Goblin Striker

It’s all pretty arbitrary at this point, but sometimes Green/White is at a loss for artifact creatures, so I hated the fear guy.

Pick Thirteen: Dead-Iron Sledge, Galvanic Key, Seething Song

Pick Fourteen: Lifespark Spellbomb, Chimney imp

Pick Fifteen: Steel Wall

So I’m still White/x, looking to go Green/White. If only my next pack would give me some sort of sign as to what I should do…

Pack Two

Pick One: Plated Slagwurm, Myr Adapter, Chimney Imp, Turn to Dust, Welding Jar, Wurmskin Forger, Silver Myr, Moriok Scavenger, Myr Enforcer, Override, Disciple of the Vault, Vorrac Battlehorns, Fireshrieker, Mirror Golem, Rustspore Ram

Hey, a bomb rare, albeit an expensive one. This pick is clearly debatable, since Mirror Golem doesn’t commit me to Green and costs one less. In addition to committing me to Green, the Slagwurm causes me to have a lot of mana symbols in both of my colors; my land could be a little sketchy. That said, the Plated Slagwurm is the most powerful card, plus it’s a big fat rare creature. How can I pass that up?

Pick Two: Slith Ascendant, Contaminated Bond, Clockwork Beetle, Wurmskin Forger, Tooth of Chiss-Goria, Regress, Pewter Golem, Hematite Golem, Electrostatic Bolt, Wizard Replica, Myr Enforcer, Heartwood Shard, Vulshok Battlegear, Gate to the Aether

The Slith Ascendant adds to my air force and gives a little bit of spunk to my currently mediocre creature base. I am personally not a big fan of Equipment that costs three to move (especially in multiples), even if I recognize its power. It’s not exactly the best tempo play to drop a Battlegear turn 3 and attempt to equip it turn 4, only to have it or the equipped creature killed in response. The Electrostatic Bolt would be an okay splash card, but I’m not going to go out of my way to splash when there’s a very good card in my color. What would you have taken: the Ascendant, the Battlegear, or neither? [Ascendant. – Knut]

Pick Three: Arrest, Gold Myr, Copper Myr, Krark-Clan Grunt, Inertia Bubble, Tooth of Chiss-Goria, Ogre Leadfoot, Slagwurm Armor, Clockwork Condor, Blinding Beam, Talisman of Dominance, Rust Elemental, Soul Nova

I said that Blinding Beam is worse than Arrest in my White article (unless my opponent is playing it, it seems), and I stand by that, although I did underrate the Beam a little then. I also already have a Beam, making the choice that much easier.

The real question is between Soul Nova and Arrest, and again, in my mind, there’s no comparison. The Nova is more devastating and can’t be nullified on a later turn by Aether Spellbomb or Elf Replica, but it requires you to keep five mana open on your opponent’s turn. You don’t want to do that if you’re behind in board position, since a savvy opponent will see through your ruse, and keep playing men to overwhelm you while you sit back on your mana. Arrest also stops Spikeshot and other assorted non-attackers where Nova wouldn’t. I don’t have any Myr yet, but I have faith that they’ll come; I would rather play whatever off-color Myr comes my way than pass up a superior card for an on-color one.

Pick Four: Fangren Hunter, Pyrite Spellbomb, Ancient Den, Inertia Bubble, Neurok Hoversail, Dross Prowler, Vulshok Gauntlets, Awe Strike, Disarm, Viridian Joiner, Soul Nova, Dead-Iron Sledge

Oh boy, the best common attacker in the set! Some people may have raised eyebrows when I took this over Creeping Mold in that fateful PTQ top 8, oh so many months ago, but most people reco’nize now. Unfortunately, there’s another Soul Nova in the pack. In general, removal is better than a creature, especially since creatures are so replaceable. In this case, however, the creature in question is so ridiculous that the”removal” spell, which I’m done criticizing for now, pales in comparison. I would hope that the missing rare has something to do with the fact that Big Fangs is still in the pack.

Pick Five: Nuisance Engine, Annul, Nim Replica, Vulshok Berserker, Malachite Golem, Lifespark Spellbomb, Fists of the Anvil, Wanderguard Sentry, Wrench Mind, Myr Adapter, Sphere of Purity

With my colors solidified, anything else would be a hate-draft. The Engine could actually make the deck, since it helps me stall until I get to my wond’rous late game. Sometimes Malachite Golem sneaks in as a 23rd-24th card, but he’s pretty mediocre. I like my late game to be more impressive than that. If he doesn’t come back, then it wasn’t meant to be.

As far as hate-drafting, say, the Berserker – the odds of it being a major factor in my downfall, given that my opponent has to have it in his deck and draw it and have it be good against my board, are miniscule. This is true for great cards almost to the extent it is true for average cards. Don’t hate unless there’s nothing in the pack for you, or you really think you can splash what you’re hating. Also,”hating” versus”defensive drafting” is a meaningless distinction. Who cares about the level of freaking malice in your heart as you perform the deed? All that matters is that the deed has been done.

Pick Six: Tel-Jilad Exile, Ancient Den, Predator’s Strike, Wail of the Nim, Yotian Soldier, Groffskithur, Galvanic Key, Soldier Replica, Roar of the Kha, Spellweaver Helix

Artifact lands aren’t remotely relevant to this deck, and all things considered, Predator’s Strike is a better trick than Roar of the Kha. That leaves Strike, Exile, and Replica. The fifth pick Nuisance Engine – rather than there being a useful card, like a man of some sort, in the pack – made me question the potential quality of my creatures again, so I figured I’d take either the Soldier Replica or the Exile. Clearly, I chose Exile. Was that right? It has an extra point of power and is much more resilient, what with regeneration and not being an artifact and such. I’m pretty sure this was the correct call here, but lemme know if you disagree.

Pick Seven: Turn to Dust, Vorrac Battlehorns, Omega Myr, Sunbeam Spellbomb, Nim Lasher, Journey of Discovery, Titanium Golem, Bloodscent, Mass Hysteria

I already have a Titanium Golem, and I certainly don’t want to play two, even if one is okay. I don’t, however, have any way to kill an artifact, so this gives me a little safety net for problem White/x Equipment decks, Warhammers, and the like.

Oh, and Journey of Discovery is cuts unless you have a splash and/or other compelling reason to play it. I’m talking to you Loring. I guess if it’s foil, you can play it.

Pick Eight: Bloodscent, Tree of Tales, Steel Wall, Incite War, Necrogen Spellbomb, Loxodon Mender, Molten Rain, Myr Prototype

Oh, nice pack. Very impressive. As I said, I have no use for artifact lands. I’ve heard some tales about Bloodscent being used. Like the Incite War that also happens to be in the pack, it can be a janky, yet effective stalemate breaker. Don’t play it if you can avoid doing so. I hope and think I can afford not to play it, but I’m not 100% sure yet, and that is sad.

Pick Nine: Silver Myr, Override, Wurmskin Forger, Welding Jar, Turn to Dust, Chimney Imp, Myr Adapter

What’s that still doing in the pack? It’s not unthinkable, but it is rather late for a Myr. Even if it is off-color, which is unfortunate in my colored-mana-intensive deck, Silver Myr still provides a greater benefit to my card pool than another big dumb monster. I takes it.

Pick Ten: Wurmskin Forger, Regress, Tooth of Chiss-Goria, Contaminated Bond, Clockwork Beetle, Heartwood Shard

That’s not to say I won’t take it now and probably play it. Someone could have enough teeth in their deck to make an entire person… well, assuming that the person is from Kentucky.** It’s an interesting thought nonetheless.

Pick Eleven: Talisman of Dominance, Inertia Bubble, Tooth of Chiss-Goria, Ogre Leadfoot, Slagwurm Armor

This is pretty late for a Talisman too. It’s rather unfortunate, once again, that I’ll probably have to run this for acceleration despite the fact that the colored mana it produces has nothing in common with the spells in my deck. I might be able to splash something blue with minimal effort if the situation arises now.

Pick Twelve: Awe Strike, Inertia Bubble, Disarm, Dead-Iron Sledge

I didn’t intend to play it when I took it, and yet I put it right in my”playables” stack during deck construction. This card really packs a punch, and people still don’t see it coming very often. You’ll be pleased with the results in any White deck, especially aggressive decks that seek to race or Green/White decks that prefer combat oneupmanship. This card played a role in three of my game wins during this draft. There’s no need to take it early since it will come late, and it’s perfectly acceptable to cut if you have a glut of removal and quality equipment in your”non-creature” piles. Try it sometime.

Pick Thirteen: Sphere of Purity, Myr Adapter, Wrench Mind

Myr Incubator ain’t got s*** on me this draft.

Pick Fourteen: Groffskithur, Galvanic Key

Pick Fifteen: Omega Myr

Um, okay. There’s nothing in particular I’m looking for here except for some on-color mana acceleration. I hope I don’t have to take it over better cards, but I’m willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the deck. Here we go…

Pack Three

Pick One: Leonin Skyhunter, Groffskithur, Clockwork Beetle, Leonin Den-Guard, Soldier Replica, Sunbeam Spellbomb, Nim Lasher, Pewter Golem, Razor Barrier, Vault of Whispers, Silver Myr, Pyrite Spellbomb, Rustmouth Ogre, Banshee’s Blade, Mind’s Eye

The pick here is between Mind’s Eye and Leonin Skyhunter. The Blade is very good, but it’s a shade below the other two and doesn’t warrant consideration. My decision was easier because I already had a Skyhunter. Having multiples does something pretty good to the odds of drawing one in your opening hand. Math hasn’t been my strong suit for over four years now, so I’m not sure what exactly, but redundancy in the two-drop slot is… um… good. Mind’s Eye is more powerful and, if left unchecked, can win entire games by itself. However, it doesn’t affect the board position and rarely comes online before turn 6. Any thoughts on the matter? Anyone? Come on people, give me a little proof that anyone is reading this article.

[He means you. Yep, each and every one of you. Go right now, and type something (anything) in the forums related to the article. I dare you. Oh, yer fingers fell off, did they? Well how did you get to our website in the first place? Go on, Dr. Hawking, make a friggin’ comment. – Knut, not helping]

Pick Two: Auriok Transfixer, Ancient Den, Goblin War-Wagon, Terror, Hematite Golem, Tanglebloom, Contaminated Bond, Viridian Joiner, Leonin Elder, Yotian Soldier, Wail of the Nim, Relic Bane, Brown Ouphe, Fatespinner

Yet another”quality” pack. I’d consider taking and splashing Terror, if my prospective land ratio wasn’t so awful already, as it is by far the most powerful card left in the pack. I guess Fatespinner is pretty good too, but that’s neither here nor there. Perhaps I should have taken Joiner here, but I would have been embarrassed to take it second. Maybe if I didn’t have any acceleration I would have taken it.

Pick Three: Tel-Jilad Exile, Iron Myr, Chromatic Sphere, Hematite Golem, Krark-Clan Grunt, Wanderguard Sentry, Dross Scorpion, Loxodon Mender, Molten Rain, Frogmite, Nim Shambler, Talisman of Dominance, Rust Elemental

Off-color Myr and Talismans no longer need apply. This pack is pathetic, making the third pick Tel-Jilad Exile the obvious choice. My deck, despite having Wrathavus, could use a little help.

Pick Four: Fangren Hunter, Tel-Jilad Archers, Scale of Chiss-Goria, Nim Replica, Thoughtcast, Awe Strike, Disarm, Cloudpost, Krark-Clan Shaman, Malachite Golem, Viridian Longbow, Tel-Jilad Stylus

…and help is on the way!! Fangren is so much better than Archers that even if I had no flying defense (a point I believe Mr. Heiss made), and even if the colored mana was a consideration, I would still nab Big Fangs. The casting cost isn’t a consideration because I’ve pretty much given up on having good mana for this deck; I’m going to need a little luck in that department.

Pick Five: Leonin Scimitar, Terror, Leaden Myr, Vault of Whispers, Slagwurm Armor, Dream’s Grip, Goblin Striker, Vulshok Gauntlets, Lumengrid Warden, Blinkmoth Well, Myr Prototype

I wouldn’t play two Vulshok Gauntlets unless I had several Yotian Soldiers and Den-Guards. I think I’d take Scimitar over it almost every time. I strongly considered hating the Terror, but I wasn’t secure enough in the final product of my deck to afford such a luxury. Besides, the deck of the guy to my left is going to be ridiculous anyway, so I might as well try to make mine a little better.

Pick Six: Irradiate, Alpha Myr, Razor Barrier, Thoughtcast, Forest (foil), Wurmskin Forger, Chimney Imp, Vorrac Battlehorns, Slith Strider, Blinkmoth Well

At the same time, the buck stops here. I guess that at a certain point, Santa Claus packs it in and calls it a night. Razor Barrier won’t make the cut in this deck since I already have enough tricks, and better tricks than the Barrier at that. Barrier is more likely to make the cut in the Equipment deck, where you have artifacts and creatures both that you’d like to protect from various removal. I didn’t plan on playing another Forger either. Forger is yet another one of those cards where one is fine but two is often pushing it unless you have a really good excuse.

Pick Seven: Viridian Joiner, Great Furnace, Awe Strike, Aether Spellbomb, Necrogen Spellbomb, Tanglebloom, Dream’s Grip, Wall of Blood, Talisman of Impulse

Miiiiiiise, I guess. The partial dilemma here is between Joiner and Talisman. I chose Joiner despite having a few four-drops because the Joiner doubles as a man for my Equipment. It accelerates to my Fangrens just as well as the Talisman would, with the small added bonus of pain-free green.

Pick Eight: Forge[/author] Armor”][author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] Armor, Chromatic Sphere, Goblin War-Wagon, Regress, Lifespark Spellbomb, Vorrac Battlehorns, Neurok Familiar, Mindstorm Crown

I don’t like Chromatic Sphere for mana fixing. It seems to me that most of the time you want to cycle it for a card before you can use it for its mana fixing potential, or you’ll already have all the mana necessary and it won’t be needed. Perhaps I should have taken the War-Wagon, but that card is no great shakes. I’d much rather have it played against me than played in my deck. Like Heiss said, it’s pretty much a freaking wall.

Then he proceeded to rate it higher than Ogre Leadfoot in Red/Green, which is tomfoolery, but I digress. Chalk this pick up to random hate-drafting. I’ve seen Forge[/author] Armor”][author name="Forge"]Forge[/author] Armor crush too many dreams. Mine, specifically. The small fear of having this drawn and used against me exceeds the small amount of utility I would glean from the Turd-Wagon.

Pick Nine: Razor Barrier, Pewter Golem, Vault of Whispers, Sunbeam Spellbomb, Nim Lasher, Clockwork Beetle, Groffskithur

Apparently, I have come back from the world of Hate for this pick. I guess the logic here is, if I’m playing against the black deck, I’d rather have Razor Barrier for one of his Terrors than worry about taking one arbitrary albeit powerful threat away from his pool. I don’t plan on maindecking the Barrier, but it’s a definite sideboard option.

Pick Ten: Viridian Joiner, Ancient Den, Wail of the Nim, Leonin Elder, Tanglebloom, Contaminated Bond

Hey-hey, it tabled. I get it anyway. What a sheer master I am to get a Viridian Joiner tenth.

Pick Eleven: Chromatic Sphere, Wanderguard Sentry, Dross Scorpion, Loxodon Mender, Molten Rain

Nooooooot plaaaaaaying it…I hope.

Pick Twelve: Disarm, Scale of Chiss-Goria, Cloudpost, Tel-Jilad Stylus

Pick Thirteen: Dream’s Grip, Lumengrid Warden, Goblin Striker

Pick Fourteen: Vorrac Battlehorns, Chimney Imp

Pick Fifteen: Dream’s Grip

Based on the card pool I obtained from the draft, I built the following deck:

2 Auriok Transfixer

2 Leonin Skyhunter

Silver Myr

Elf Replica

Slith Ascendant

2 Viridian Joiner

2 Tel-Jilad Exile

2 Fangren Hunter

Plated Slagwurm

Wurmskin Forger


Awe Strike

Leonin Scimitar

Predator’s Strike

Vulshok Gauntlets


Blinding Beam

Solar Tide

9 Plains

8 Forests

The mana was rough. I needed lots of both, so I opted for one extra Plains because the Joiners would help with double and triple Green, and because the treekitties are less forgiving about having double White early than are the Fangrens about having double Green on turn 4 or 5. I like seventeen lands in this deck because I really want to make sure I can play my more expensive spells; they’re just that good in this deck. Also, my excess mana can be used to move Gauntlets around. I chose not to play the Talisman, because I had three other accelerators and, unlike the offcolor Myr, this thing can’t even attack. Some might consider playing it over a land, but I need my colored mana badly in this deck, so I can’t afford to make a cut there.

Some specific cards I left out:

Turn to Dust: Just not powerful enough for the maindeck. I’m willing to side it in as necessary. If I had seen a little more equipment, I may have run it over Elf Replica. Green/White likes to play a higher count of creatures in order to deluge opponents with threats large and small, though.

Talisman of Dominance, Chromatic Sphere: See above.

Titanium Golem: He’s a decent guy, but he wasn’t good enough for this deck. I ran Elf Replica over him because of the cost; I already had plenty of better spells that cost four or more.

Nuisance Engine: I didn’t really consider playing this since it doesn’t do enough. I’d rather attack than block. Basically, I would play Nuisance Engine if I had at least one or two combos with it, like Atog or Nim Shrieker. I think I covered that in another article, even though I didn’t write an artifact review. How bout that.

I’m not going to go into detail about the matches I played, as they were ugly and forgettable. (Plus I need to save a little space for the feature match). I really smashed my opponents. Their ratings were about 1730, 1660, and 1750, but I’ve gotten more challenged by 1500s, literally. I ran through ’em like a hot knife through mayo. I don’t feel the least bit bad about it, though, since I’m in a funk. The secret account usually loses in round two of 4-3-2-2s, which bruises my ego as well as my pack count. In summary, to the victor go the spoils, pay us like you owe us, rally round the family, pocket full of shells. [You forgot the speech impediment. – Knut]

Here are some events/notes from the matches, in bullet-point form:

  • I drew Solar Tide once but never played it.

  • I played Pentavus once, and every time I had it in hand it may as well have been Wurmskin Forger.

  • Game 1 Round 1: I play turn 1 Transfixer, turn 2 Skyhunter, while my opponent mulligans, stalls on one land, then concedes after discarding.

  • During one game, I planned out my course of action: turn 1 Transfixer, turn 2 play Scimitar, equip, and attack. Yet, for some reason, I played Scimitar turn 1. This is especially odd because I recently dropped Bonesplitter turn 1 despite having a Disciple of the Vault in my hand (also on Magic Online) even though I clearly intended to play Disciple turn 1. It wasn’t as though I misclicked; it was more like my reflexes and my brain were not working together as a team.

  • “House of the Rising Sun” is a really good song, even if it is pretty old.

  • During another game, I got the same start as game 1 round 1, but I also played Skyhunter number two on turn 3.

  • During that same game, my opponent refused to attack with Krark-Clan Grunt even though he had a Chromatic Sphere to sacrifice if I was dumb enough to block with my 2/2 flyer. He also tried to Glissa my Vulshok Gauntlets for 3, and my win was expedited because of it.

  • Awe Strike, as I mentioned, was an integral part of several victories.

  • Game One, Round Three: My opponent neglects to use a Tooth one turn. He then messes up Grab the Reins, which served only to cause him to concede in embarrassment before I could drop Pentavus that turn.

  • Final Game: He was on the play, yet I dropped a Slagwurm before he hit land number four. He had a Myr out, though!

C’mon, people. My matches are never this painful! Did you know I was going to write an article and hence tried your damnedest to screw me over? Huh?

Well, I’m satisfied with the length and content, plus I don’t want to bore you (a la”AIM High”), so I’ll save the Feature Match for next time. I hope someone at Wizards reads it and treats it as a demo/tryout/audition for possible Sideboard employment. As if.

Please, comment in the forums! Even if you’re only commenting on the following portrait of me: http://jillclown.omadin.com/greatrace1.gif

Pins and needles, Y’ALL.

Tim Aten

Growing More Misshapen By the Day

Captain of DiVAS on Modo

Hewwo Morgy

[email protected]

*All these quotes are 100% real or very slightly paraphrased.

**I swear to God, Mousseau, if I catch any nonsense for this I will walk to your house, slap you with a leather glove, and walk home.